Sleep is your body’s time to restore and heal itself. You can control this aspect of your health by getting an adequate amount of quality sleep. When sleeping, you pass through five stages, or changes in brain waives, lasting around ninety minutes total. Generally, we complete four to five of these cycles a night. Your body needs to transition through all five stages of sleep for optimal health; each stage provides a different therapeutic effect.
Sleep is defined as a heightened anabolic state, providing for the growth and repair of the body’s major systems. Your body has a finely tuned rhythm, just like an instrument. We have learned, the unconscious controls all the intricate systems running your body during your waking and sleeping hours. Similar to all of nature—the rising sun, the changing seasons, and the ocean’s tide—your body’s circadian rhythm regulates your body’s natural cycle. Your circadian rhythm modulates all your internal clocks, which keep your brain, lungs, liver, heart, and all your internal rhythms in total balance.
Sleep patterns activate the release of hormones that regulate bodily functions, mental alertness, and emotional states. Lack of sleep can cause slowed or slurred speech as well as flattened emotional responses or moodiness. It can also impair memory and cause an inability to multitask. We have extended our daytime by continued exposure to light after the sun has set. People so value work ethics that preach “working harder and longer is required for success” that they often sacrifice sleep in hopes of financial gain. We use artificial light to operate at all hours of the day. Televisions, computers, and cell phones all fool your brain into believing it’s daylight even if the sun has set. Light receptors in our eyes take in this synthetic light, then prompt our brains to stay awake, believing that to be its proper function.
Even small amounts of light alert these light receptors; therefore, you should sleep in TOTAL darkness. If you must wake up to use the bathroom, keep the lights off. When our eyes detect light, our brain interprets it to be daytime and terminates the secretion of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone and antioxidant that regulates your sleeping-waking cycles. The pineal gland, often referred to as the third eye, releases melatonin when you are in darkness in preparation for sleep. For optimal health, you should sleep when it is dark outside to be in tune with your body’s natural rhythms.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep-Tips for great sleeping habits:
• Establish a bedtime routine.
• Eight hours is recommended by most experts as the target number of hours to sleep.
• Sleep patterns during dark hours from ten p.m. to six a.m. are ideal.
• Go to sleep at the same time every evening and wake up at the same time every morning.
• Wake up without an alarm clock.
• Cut back on caffeine; NONE for four hours before bedtime.
• Avoid alcohol and food several hours before bedtime.
• Don’t drink anything right before going to bed to avoid having to use the restroom.
• Don’t smoke.
• Don’t take drugs.
• Regularly exercise.
• Cut out all noise; wear earplugs if you must.
• Avoid extreme temperatures.
• Wear socks to keep your feet warm, as they tend to be colder than the rest of your body.
• Cut out all light, including artificial sources. Use blackout shades/eye mask if need be.
• Remove electrical currents from your bedroom.
• If you have electrical items plugged in, unplug them before you go to sleep.
• Learn more about Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF).
Sleep, stress, and diet are the biggest components of health. Lack of sleep can wreck havoc on the body. Sleep is an integral part of your bodies self-healing system. Give you body a boost, give your body what it needs to succeed, give your body the rest it deserves. It will leave you feeling refreshed, less hungry, and more vibrant!